Guest Post: The Future is Now: Mobile Strategies for Social Impact
By Laura Efurd, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, ZeroDivide
— @lefurd, @zerodivideorg
A Pew report released just last week declared that “the rise of mobile is changing the story” about the digital divide. The report notes that populations traditionally on the other side of the digital divide are increasingly using wireless technology to access the Internet.
For those of us in the social sector, the promise of universal access raises a host of new possibilities to improve economic, educational, health, and social conditions in underserved communities. However it also raises new questions: If mobile technology is helping to eliminate traditional aspects of the digital divide, is it creating new ones? In the age of mobile apps and hackathons, why is support for mobile strategies and projects lagging in the social sector? How can we more effectively strengthen these efforts?
ZeroDivide explores these questions and others in our new report “Funding Mobile Strategies for Social Impact: The Future is Now”. It explores mobile innovation in the social sector and uncovers the keys to successful programs in the United States. “Funding Mobile” demystifies the various mobile channels used for social impact – such as texting, mobile video, and location based services – and explains how nonprofits are using these channels to enhance health services, improve transportation systems, distribute emergency aid, and improve civic participation.
My favorite example of how mobile technology is literally putting power in the hands, pockets and purses of people is Fresno BusTracker. Created by young people, this service allows community members to text in reports about incidents on the local bus system – such as violence, buses not stopping or being late – and geotags them to populate an online map. Community members are using this data to press for – and win – changes in the transportation system in Fresno.
Learn about more exciting mobile innovations, the challenges to supporting them, and suggestions for overcoming the barriers in ZeroDivide’s report, “Funding Mobile Strategies for Social Impact: The Future is Now”. Then share with us your favorite example of mobile innovation in the social sector at http://facebook.com/zerodivideorg.
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http://bit.ly/MobileZD @Zerodivideorg #mobile #philanthropy #fundertech